Money creates various emotions for people. For some it invigorates them, for others it is an uncomfortable feeling. It has been blamed for everything from wars to infidelity, from destroying friendships to wrecking families.
The truth is that the problem isn’t money. The problem is many of us have a very dysfunctional relationship with money; how we approach money, how we think and feel about money and how we handle money.
It all stems from our money mindset. Subconscious beliefs developed in childhood that we adopt from our parents, family, mentors, culture and our environment. Holding these beliefs can be detrimental to our financial success. It affects how we act with money and how money acts with us.
This is the reason generational poverty and generational wealth exists. People who constantly think negatively about money, tend to be plagued by money problems their whole life and pass on bad money habits and beliefs to their children. On the other hand, people who believe that money is something within their control, are the ones who become more successful and ultimately increase their money. They educate themselves about money and tend to pass their philosophies and strategies on wealth creation to their children.
Common Money Blocks
There are many money blocks that prevent people from experiencing the flow of money into their lives.
Home Grown Beliefs
What you saw, heard and experienced with money before age 7 is imprinted in your subconscious mind and your subconscious is responsible for 95% of your habits and behaviours.
The most common beliefs that I have heard from people are:
– “More money more problems”
– “Money is hard to come by.”
– “You have to work hard for your money.”
– “I can’t make money doing what I love.”
– “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”
– “Money doesn’t grow on trees.”
– “Bad things happen when you make a lot of money.”
– “Money leads to dysfunctional families.”
– “You have to choose between success or work life balance.”
We create a life based on what we believe because we act based on our beliefs.
When I started digging deep within to find my own story, I realised that when I was 7 years old growing up in the Maldives, most of the billboards and posters were about political propaganda, that accused the previous President of embezzling some of the countries wealth. Those who worked closely with him, were guilty by association and were wrongly accused of organising a coup against the new President. Some of them, including my father, were sentenced to life in prison.
These are some of the negative billboards I saw everyday on my way to school:
I associated money with prison and criminality. It felt all too real and resulted in some unhealthy beliefs, that formed false barriers to me receiving abundance:
– “People who have money are bad”
– “Money corrupts people”
– “Money is evil”
Deep inside my subconscious I was scared of having money, which directly reflected what I was doing and experiencing in my life:
– Applying and staying in jobs that did not reflect my self-worth
– Offering to work for free or as little money as possible
– Believing that other people can get rich but I cannot
I have let go of these limiting beliefs and replaced them with a healthy money mindset. The first thing I noticed was I started to meet people with a positive money mindset who have earnt their wealth honestly. I confidently began turning down requests that paid less than my value.
Fear of Numbers
Probably the most disempowering reason behind the fear of numbers is the belief that our net-worth is somehow related to our self-worth.
Numbers also have the power to expose all the mistakes we may have made over the years.
“I’m afraid it will make me look really stupid since I have never learned much more than how to balance my cheque book.”
“I’m always going over budget because I forget what I have already spent.”
“I figured I could stay in denial if I didn’t look at my credit card and bank statements.”
“I’m afraid that I’ll invest poorly and end up with nothing.”
“I’m no good at maths.”
“I’m no good with money.”
“I trusted my partner with managing our money.”
The world of investment is made to sound far more complex than it really is. That barrier is a false one, but it can feel all too real. In reality, nearly all financial transactions can be explained and calculated by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing. Something we all mastered in primary school.
If you’re looking for ways to build better financial habits, it can be helpful to review the basics, such as how to manage your debt, maximise your savings and have healthy conversations with your partner about money. By educating yourself, you will have more options when you have to make important financial decisions.
What Is Your Money Story?
One of the most important things you can do to improve your financial situation is to understand your money story. It’s important to identify your existing relationship with money:
– What you’re saying about it
– How you feel about it
– What you believe about it
– How you use it
Danielle LaPorte wrote in her article Getting Emotional About Money, “I tend to think of money in the same way I regard time. It’s a form of energy. It comes and goes according to my intentions. The clearer my intentions, the more the money flows.”
Highlight Limiting Beliefs
Identify the belief or fear and then understand why you’re doing what you’re doing with money. I found Dr Maria Nemeth’s approach very helpful:
Sit quietly. Draw a circle in the middle of some paper and write the word “money”. Then write around the circle, everything that comes into your mind quickly. This brings out your subconscious programs. If you try and think about it, then the beliefs will not come out.
Write down statements or questions that come from your conscious desires, for example:
– I want to earn £100,000 a year
– What will it take for me get a raise at work?
– What must I give up to have the £100,000 a year?
Then quickly write down responses to your statements.
Whichever approach you have chosen, look at your responses and ask yourself:
“Are my thoughts about money limiting my options in life?” Complete honesty and owning your story is important to take your power back.
Observe how your body feels:
– Are you nervous?
– Do you have a sinking feeling in your stomach?
– Is there excitement?
Keep a note of your feelings and highlight the ones that make you feel excited or motivated.
Edit Your Money Story
Money is a mirror that reflects our strengths and weaknesses with amazing clarity. At your core, you will still be the same person with or without money. Similarly, if you are bad at handling a little money, you’ll be bad at handling a lot of money. There are plenty of millionaires who go bankrupt because of reckless spending.
Focus on expressing gratitude for what you have. Money starts flowing into your life as you begin to appreciate and love it with sincerity. Money is here to serve you and there is enough to go around.
“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”
– Robin S Sharma
Wishing you abundance in your money mindset journey. If you found this post helpful, I love hearing from you.
With love and gratitude,